Aroview: Vivid, imaginatively conceived reenactment of Aron Ralston’s remarkable true story of survival, in which the adventurer performed the unthinkable by amputating his own arm after being trapped by a boulder inside of an isolated canyon in Utah.
Ralston’s well-documented feat is given an impressive visual spin by dir. Boyle, who works the camera in a variety of ways to defy the largely ‘one-room’ setting, though at most his version of events remains an extended episode of I SHOULDN’T BE ALIVE. Something of a missed opportunity, the conceptual grounds promise a radical departure from traditional narrative filmmaking – insofar as things are stripped back to the ‘bare essentials’ – however rarely does the film stray from formula. Still, James Franco is compelling in the lead role, effectively performing a one-man play while resourcefully conveying the emotions that swirl around the near-death experience.